The pace of single-family home construction in California, as measured by building permits issued, has fallen about 30.4 percent during the first 10 months of the year compared to the same period last year, the California Building Industry Association reported today.

The builders’ trade group reported 20,645 single-family permits issued from January to October this year, compared to 29,671 for the same period last year.

There were 2,017 single-family permits pulled during October, which is down an estimated 14.2 percent from October 2008 and down 9.2 percent from September 2009, according to data released by the state’s Construction Industry Research Board.

Total housing permits issued, which also includes multi-family housing, dropped 46.3 percent during the first 10 months of this year compared to the same period last year. Total permits dropped 32.9 percent in October 2009 compared to October 2008, and fell 5.5 percent from the previous month.

No California metro areas tracked in the report have experienced gains in total building permits issued from January to October this year compared to the same period last year, while the Vallejo-Fairfield metro area (up 49.6 percent) and Bakersfield metro area (up 0.7 percent) saw a gain in single-family permits issued during the same period year-over-year.

Liz Snow, CBIA president and chief executive officer, said that she expects an extension and expansion of the homebuyers tax credit program (see story) will benefit builders.

"We expect to see some positive momentum generated by the federal tax credit and we applaud federal lawmakers for taking swift action in approving the extension," said Snow, and she encouraged a renewed statewide tax credit program to further boost new-home sales.

"California lawmakers should reexamine (the) benefits and work to implement a new tax credit in hopes of continuing that positive momentum and encourage a broader economic recovery in the coming year," Snow said in a statement.


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